FOODS THAT IMPROVE MOOD
- November 28, 2021
The link between food and mood will come as no surprise. There is joy and social connection when sharing birthday cake with loved ones. Certain tastes and smells evoke feelings of nostalgia from childhood. On the other hand, it is common to feel irritable during long periods of fasting, and feelings of guilt are common when overeating. The commonly used terms ‘comfort’ food and ‘hangry’ define how food can bring an emotional response.
Scientifically speaking, we are an entity that lies at the lapse of dynamic flux of nutrients and chemicals which defines our condition at every point in time.
Our moods are determined by the chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters: Serotonin, dopamine, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and noradrenaline. These chemical messengers are necessary to balance the intensity of signals between neurons in the brain and rest of the body. Low levels of serotonin in particular have been linked with neurological disorders, anxiety and depression.
Some evidence shows that folate, zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium and vitamin D may be protective against anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. To feed your happy hormones, a well-balanced diet will provide adequate sources of these nutrients, as they are commonly found in a variety of foods.
MICRONUTRIENT SOURCES INCLUDES:
Folate: Green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, fortified foods and beverages.
Zinc: Red meat, liver, egg yolk, oysters, bran.
Magnesium: Almonds, bananas, broccoli, oatmeal, soybeans, whole grains.
Iron: Red meat, poultry and fish, beans & pulses, fortified cereals.
Selenium: Brazil nuts, meat, fish, seeds, wholemeal bread.
Vitamin D: Sunlight, fortified foods and beverages, eggs.
B vitamins: Whole grains, meat, dairy, eggs, seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Choline: Beef, eggs, fish, chicken, dairy, shiitake mushrooms, beans.
CHOOSE SMART CARBOHYDRATE
SOURCES: Low glycemic index carbohydrates are best! This includes whole grains,sweet potatoes, and rolled oats. These increase the influx of serotonin in the brain, ultimately improving mood. Also the consumption of eggs, poultry, tofu, fish, dairy and beans have been linked to high dopamine and norepinephrine levels leaving us more cheerful and positive.
EMBRACE THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The mediterranean diet is a balanced, healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and fish — all of which are important sources of nutrients linked to preventing depression.
CHOOSE ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS SOURCES
Approximately 60% of the brain is made up of fatty acids, which include omega-3 fats. As a result, omega-3 fats are essential for the normal function of the brain. Sources of omega-3 include oily fish, seeds like chia, flax, and hemp, nuts, fortified foods and supplements. Epidemiological studies show that in countries where people eat large amounts of oily fish, depression is less common .
In addition, omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory effects on the body by releasing chemicals called eicosanoids.
DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Adequate hydration is often considered to impact cognition, concentration and is fundamental to all biological functions and metabolic pathways. Therefore, it is imperative that we stay adequately hydrated to maintain physical and mental health. Moreover, even mild dehydration can impact mood and alertness. Furthermore, it was observed by Researchers at Rockefeller university, that memory, motor skills and numeric abilities decline in states of moderate dehydration.
Conclusively, you have no right to annoy others or make people tip-toe around you, your mood is your responsibility therefore, consider the right food a worthy goal.